In San Defendente di Cervasca, in the province of Cuneo, there is a family business that is not afraid to dare. It has always been like this, since the 1960s, when the founder Attilio Borgna started his adventure in the field of glass for building. Since then Borgna Vetri has diversified its production, often anticipating the times, changing during the race as only the most far-sighted can do. It is therefore not surprising that Covid, a bugbear for the world economy for a year and a half, has not scratched the path of the company which, on the contrary, despite the pandemic, has increased its turnover by 30%.
Today Borgna deals with the transformation of flat and curved glass for industrial applications, produces tempered safety glass, laminated glass and insulating glass. The reference markets are those of white household appliances (oven doors, hobs, refrigerator shelves, glass for extractor hoods), commercial refrigeration (refrigerator doors for supermarkets, cover glasses for frozen foods, refrigerated counters for meat and food) and mobility (tractor cabs, train windows). The numbers certify an expanding reality: 45 thousand square meters of covered industrial area; 220 direct collaborators, of which 30 employees; 70 thousand volumes produced per day; 10 million square meters of glass processed every year. 3% of the annual turnover is invested in machinery, research and development. All this is made possible also thanks to a constant increase in revenues. For 2021, a turnover of 35 million euros is expected, 8 million more than in 2020 and 24 million more than two years ago. «In December 2019 – says the CEO Enzo Borgna – the company completed the acquisition of the Saint Gobain Euroveder business unit, linked to the production of tempered glass for household appliances. A courageous operation for an industrial plant that was part of our history, as it was sold to Saint-Gobain thirty-two years earlier and from which the French group itself intended to leave due to a change in organizational strategy. We believed that the entrepreneurial management of a business of this type, given the specific nature of the profession, was much more profitable than that which any multinational could set up. Two months after the acquisition, however, the lockdown forced us to stop operations for over seven weeks. It was not easy, but we still managed to reorganize ourselves, also because the appliance market suddenly resumed its run and it was hard to import from China. Thus we have become strategic for many customers, in the last year we have hired over 60 people to be able to produce on twenty weekly shifts, securing multi-year contracts ».
At the base of the success there is also the desire to bet on the short supply chain, which allows to obtain quality products while reducing costs. «In our sector – explains Borgna – it is difficult to identify a long one. We are aiming to become more and more system suppliers on the different markets in which we operate. The “B doors” line is a practical example of the shortening of the supply chain in the commercial refrigeration market. We offer our customers finished products, not just double glazing but doors and locking systems for commercial refrigeration. When we create the double glazing, we can create the structural door providing buyers with a full glass product ».
In the growth process, together with “foresight”, the other key word is “vision”. It is therefore not surprising that Borgna, alongside purely industrial productions, has chosen to invest in a different sector, that of furniture, by acquiring the Tuscan company Antique Mirror. «In the factory in the province of Siena, antique mirrors are made entirely by hand. It is a niche sector in which we decided to invest in 2006 and which allows us to have a presence in the world of furniture. The mirrors of the Antique Mirror are all different from each other, creating a much appreciated uniqueness in the high-end market ».
Between glass for ovens and designer mirrors, research has never stopped. In the midst of the pandemic, Borgna launched an innovative product on the home appliance market, Eko Vision Silver, an internal glass for the oven that allows the external temperature of the door to be reduced by about 10 degrees, while reducing the number of glasses present in the oven. self-cleaning oven doors, without altering their performance. «This product – explains the CEO – contributes to the reduction of Co2 in a very significant way, about 4 kilos for each oven. This means that every 100 thousand kilns produced 400 thousand kilos of Co2 are saved ». The high performance of glass convinced the giant Electrolux in the United States, which signed a multi-year agreement with Borgna. Hence the need to start a business in the US last July, currently entrusted to a local partner. “The intention – concludes Borgna – is to open our operational branch, also to look out on other US markets”.